For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life…..He that believes on Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16, 18
The Bible text is clear. God loves the whole world, but we are expected to release faith in order to receive eternal life. And there is nothing more important to an individual than salvation. If God won’t make an allowance for this then He surely will not make an allowance for other things. The simple truth is this, God does not differentiate, all things require faith.
We have this false notion that if God loved us and if the need was important enough, He would answer based on His love. But if we pray according to that notion, and the answer doesn’t come (and it won’t), we become disappointed and confused. Why didn’t the answer come? Wasn’t it His will? Doesn’t He love me? Surely if He loved me, He would have sent the answer. Then we start to doubt His love and think, ‘Maybe God doesn’t love me’, or, ‘Maybe God wants me to go through this pain’, or even, ‘Maybe God is the source of this pain’. We are left wounded and confused.
This confusion undermines trust in His love and character. We confuse God’s love with how God works. Let there be no doubt, God does love us, but God does not bless based on love alone. Yes, God gives graciously according to His love, but His justice requires that we receive according to our faith. That is why the Bible says that justification is by faith (and not by love). Again, the truth of the matter is that God does not differentiate between needs or desires, big things or small things. All things are to be received by faith, and are only to be received by faith. God gives according to His love, but we receive according to our faith. This satisfies the love and justice of God Almighty.
All things are to be received by faith
The image I want to present is this – God is standing with His hands outstretched full of blessings, ready to give them out. His face is radiant with love and acceptance. However, there is a chasm between you and Him, and that chasm can only be crossed by faith. There are no other options, and there is no other way. God is there waiting but getting to Him will require faith. Receiving faith then is the only obstacle. God and His blessings are on the other side of faith. His will for this world is on the other side of faith. We must all travel the way of faith.
God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. John 3:16 God’s Word Translation